This week, I’ve been watching the Bright & Quirky Online Summit, a video conference of all things 2e, anxiety, gifted, ADHD, etc. It’s been great – encouraging & enlightening.
One thing that struck me as a common theme in so many of these talks is how often parents started to understand their own giftedness, their own struggles with sensitivity or executive function, as they watched their children struggle and wanted to help them.
I was describing one of the talks to my husband, talking about the gifted characteristic of Rage to Master, and he got a smile on his face. I had been describing how gifted individuals have a strong need to complete a challenge, to fully understand a problem, to not give up until it had been conquered — and this fits my husband to a T. He had just been building a swing set for the kids, and my multiple reminders about not overdoing it, taking a break, etc, had not phased him. Once he started a new challenge, he wanted to see it through.
The funny thing is – for parents who grew up without a “gifted” label, this behavior is normal. It’s normal because it was their experience. It’s normal to be ultra-sensitive to sound or smells, normal to feel bored and disconnected in school, normal to be clumsy or sensory seeking, normal for academics to come easy but the social stuff to be hard. And that causes us to doubt our own kids, to minimize their struggles, because we were the same and made it through.
Yet, as we watch this next generation and learn from all the amazing research and experiences of others in similar situations, we can start to have empathy for ourselves too, to understand why things may have been so hard or awkward for us.
If this is you – seeing yourself in your kid’s struggles, I would encourage you to start reading. SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) is a great place to start, as are some of the bloggers in this group who write about gifted adult populations, and many of the presenters in the Bright & Quirky Summit.
Giftedness can sometimes come out of nowhere, but it is often hereditary, so as we learn with our children what makes them tick, we can also understand ourselves, spouses, siblings, and parents better too.
This post has been part of the Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop for May, 2018. Click on over to read more about giftedness in adult populations!